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Gough and Television New Zealand Ltd - 2012-095

Members

  • Peter Radich (Chair)
  • Mary Anne Shanahan
  • Leigh Pearson
  • Te Raumawhitu Kupenga

Complainant

  • Owen Gough of Invercargill

Dated

1st April 2014

Number

2012-095

Programme

Fair Go

Channel/Station

TV One

Broadcaster

Television New Zealand Ltd


Summary [This summary does not form part of the decision.]

Two items on Fair Go investigated complaints against a medal conservator and dealer, Owen Gough. The Authority did not uphold complaints from Mr Gough that the people interviewed made false claims about him, that his response was not fairly presented, and that the programmes breached his privacy. The broadcasts carried a high level of public interest, the claims made by those interviewed were clearly framed as their personal opinions and experiences, and the Authority was satisfied that the broadcaster had sufficient basis for the story. Mr Gough was not treated unfairly.

Not Upheld: Fairness, Accuracy, Privacy


Introduction

[1]  Fair Go investigated complaints against a medal conservator and dealer, Owen Gough, who restored and mounted original war medals, and also sold replicas to complete sets of medals. The programme interviewed four people about their alleged experiences with Mr Gough, and engaged a medals expert to examine the authenticity and value of some of their medals. The investigation spanned two separate broadcasts on 23 and 30 May 2012 on TV ONE.

[2]  Owen Gough made a formal complaint to Television New Zealand Ltd, the broadcaster, alleging that Fair Go allowed the interviewees and the medals expert to make false and misleading claims about him, and that his response to their claims was not fairly presented. He also argued that the programme included footage and disclosed information in breach of his privacy. 

[3]  The issue is whether the broadcast breached the fairness, privacy and accuracy standards, as set out in the Free-to-Air Television Code of Broadcasting Practice.

[4]  The members of the Authority have viewed recordings of the broadcasts complained about and have read the correspondence listed in the Appendix.

Preliminary issue

[5]  TVNZ informed us that Mr Gough was charged with a number of counts of theft and fraud in August 2012 relating to military medals belonging to New Zealand returned servicemen and their families. Given the pending court case, the broadcaster requested we decline to determine the accuracy and fairness complaints pursuant to section 11(b) of the Broadcasting Act 1989,1 or alternatively, that we defer our consideration until the conclusion of the proceedings. It said there was a risk of the Authority’s decision pre-empting the court’s determination.

[6]  We are satisfied that the issues raised by Mr Gough’s complaints are sufficiently distinct from the criminal charges brought against him to enable us to determine whether the Fair Go items breached broadcasting standards. It is the court’s role to determine whether Mr Gough is guilty of any crime. This Authority has a statutory function to determine, based on the information before us, whether Fair Go was entitled to present the story in the way it did. Given that our role, and the rules we apply, are different to the court’s, we think we can properly proceed.2

Broadcasts

[7]  Fair Go is a locally produced consumer affairs programme which investigates various products and services, and provides information and consumer advice. The programme operates with the legitimate intention of providing an examination of, and advice on, consumer issues in the New Zealand context.

[8]  The items subject to complaint investigated claims made by a number of aggrieved customers who claimed they paid Mr Gough substantial sums of money and entrusted him with their family war medals. The first item screened on 23 May and was introduced by the presenters as follows:

Presenter 1:     Tonight’s story is about medals, war medals, family heirlooms reminders of
                        loved ones who put their lives on the line.

Presenter 2:     It’s also about a man named Owen Gough, he’s in the business of replicas.
                       People pay him hundreds, sometimes thousands for his work. We think you’ll
                       be shocked at what he delivers.

[9]  This item featured interviews with A, B and C, who each described their experiences with Mr Gough. A and B said they dealt with a person going by the name ‘ChappieMJ’ on Trade Me, and C said she dealt with ‘Eric-O’. The reporter said that ‘ChappieMJ’ and ‘Eric-O’ were ‘Owen Gough trading names’. The following claims were made against Mr Gough in regard to his failure to deliver replica medals:

  • A bought replica medals from ‘ChappieMJ’ on Trade Me for $512 but ‘two years down the track he had nothing to show for the money’.
  • B bought replica medals from ‘ChappieMJ’ for $598 but the ‘communication stopped all of a sudden’ and the medals never arrived.
  • C paid ‘Eric-O’ $6,692 for several sets of WW1 and WW2 replica medals, but two years later ‘all she’s received are a couple of flimsy files, three pairs of tacky replicas and a heap of excuses’.

[10]  The reporter stated, ‘Now failing to deliver replica medals is bad enough, but there’s a concerning twist to this tale. Having pocketed hundreds – and in one case thousands – of dollars, for replica medals, Owen Gough then convinced all three of our complainants to send him any original medals awarded to their loved ones’. The following allegations were made in regard to the original medals:

  • A sent Mr Gough two original medals and he ‘had those for well over a year before they were returned’.
  • B sent Mr Gough one original medal which was eventually returned by courier along with a trespass notice against B, another account to pay, and threats that Mr Gough was going to sue B for slander.
  • C sent Mr Gough original medals but had to call the police to get them back and only some were ultimately returned. C took Mr Gough to the Small Claims Court and got counter sued for $23,000.

[11]  Fair Go said it had concerns about the quality of one of the medals recovered by police. On this basis, the programme consulted a military medals expert recommended by the New Zealand Defence Force. The medals expert examined the medals returned to A and C and gave his professional opinion that some of the originals had been replaced with fakes. He also examined the replica medals supplied to C, and gave his opinion that ‘They are not very good quality at all… those medals are worth $35 each… it’s not a great deal to show’, and he also stated, ‘and the research that’s been provided, just briefly looking through that, this information is really information that you could glean from a Google search’.

[12]  The item broadcast on 30 May continued the investigation and explored the possibility of Mr Gough acting with a business partner. It was introduced as follows:

Presenter 1:     Police are now investigating the story we brought you last week about Owen
                      Gough, medal conservator and dealer from Invercargill.

Presenter 2:    Clients pay him hundreds, even thousands. Our expert says some of the
                      medals he sends clients are fakes.

Presenter 1:     We’ve got plenty of new complaints. [Reporter’s name]’s been trying to
                       figure out if more than one person is behind it all.

[13]  The reporter interviewed D who alleged he paid $11,000 to a business called Chapman and Associates, and the reporter said the business was ‘fronted by a man called [X] and has strong ties to Owen Gough’. The item contained a short interview with X at his front door.

Freedom of expression

[14]  We recognise that the Fair Go series and the broadcasts subject to complaint carried a high level of public interest and were valuable in terms of freedom of expression. The investigation of Mr Gough and his alleged dishonest dealings with war medals carrying significant financial and sentimental value was based on claims made by a number of aggrieved customers, which is typical of content that regularly features on Fair Go. This is a legitimate function performed by the programme which serves important public interest principles, provided that those accused of unsatisfactory conduct are made aware of the allegations being made against them, are provided with a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment, and their perspective is adequately put forward.

[15]  The value of the programme and the broadcasts complained about must be balanced against the potential harm likely to result from allowing the unfettered dissemination of the speech.3 We may only limit the right to freedom of expression to an extent that is reasonable, and with proper justification. Here, the alleged harm, in terms of the underlying objectives of the relevant broadcasting standards, was said to derive from alleged false accusations levelled at Mr Gough, resulting in reputational damage and unfair treatment. In addition, Mr Gough argued that footage of him, accompanied by the disclosure of alleged private information, infringed his right to privacy.

Was Mr Gough treated unfairly?

[16]  The fairness standard (Standard 6) states that broadcasters should deal fairly with any person or organisation taking part or referred to in a programme.

[17]  One of the purposes of the fairness standard is to protect individuals and organisations from broadcasts which provide an unfairly negative representation of their character or conduct. Programme participants and people referred to in broadcasts have the right to expect that broadcasters will deal with them justly and fairly, so that unwarranted harm is not caused to their reputation and dignity.4

[18]  In our view, the fairness standard is most relevant to the complaint, and we have focused our determination accordingly.

[19]  Mr Gough made many arguments and provided extensive supporting documentation. His main concern, in our view, was Fair Go’s alleged failure to properly distinguish between him and X. Specifically, he argued that the 23 May item claimed that ‘ChappieMJ’ was his trading name and that A and B were his clients, and the 30 May item claimed that D was his client. Mr Gough said the trading name and contracts belonged to X, and he sought to distance himself from A, B and D, and their complaints.

[20]  In our view, the key issues for our consideration are:

  • Did the broadcasts create a negative impression of Mr Gough that was unwarranted?
  • Did Fair Go have a sufficient basis for focusing on Mr Gough?
  • Was Mr Gough provided with a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment?
  • Was Mr Gough’s response fairly presented?

Did the broadcasts create a negative impression of Mr Gough that was unwarranted?
[21]  The broadcasts contained interviews with a number of aggrieved customers who shared their experiences of dealing with Mr Gough and, in the case of D, Mr Gough and X. The customers’ stories were told through their own words and through comments by the reporter. The customers’ comments illustrated the emotional, as well as the financial impact their dealings with Mr Gough had on them, for example they said:

  • ‘Yeah, well he stole my history and my heart… you know, I was inspired to sort of get all of the information, and then he just took it all away from me really’. (C)
  • ‘I was blown away, yeah, so basically I gave him money for medals, he didn’t give them to me, then he sued me for $23,000. It was just unbelievable.’ (C)
  • ‘The money is one thing, but the fact is that yeah, he’s just used that emotion and the memory of an incredibly brave person.’ (B)
  • ‘I would have liked to have met him face-to-face but the man didn’t have the guts to do that, so it just shows the calibre of him.’ (A)
  • ‘I really can’t fathom the guy. He’s one out of the box, isn’t he? He’s not an honourable person and he doesn’t seem to care who he hurts in the process.’ (D)

[22]  The medals expert engaged by Fair Go examined some of the medals. His professional opinion that many of the medals were cheap replicas and worth very little was expressed by him or paraphrased by the reporter.

[23]  We accept that the items, and specifically the customers’ personal experiences and views, and the medals expert’s claims, created an impression of Mr Gough that did not reflect well on his character or conduct.

Did Fair Go have a sufficient basis for focusing on Mr Gough?
[24]  Given that Mr Gough’s primary concern was that three of the four interviewees were allegedly not his clients, we requested further information from TVNZ as to how the story became focused on Mr Gough, and about what evidence Fair Go had to suggest that Mr Gough was involved with A, B and D and their medals.

[25]  TVNZ responded that the interviewees, including A and B, corresponded by email with people going by a variety of names such as ‘Chappie’, ‘ChappieMJ’, ‘Eric-O’, ‘Medal Conservator’, ‘Chapman and Associates’, ‘A C Gough Medals’ and ‘Owen Gough’. It said the majority of B’s email correspondence was signed by ‘Owen’ or ‘Owen Gough’, and the trespass notice that was taken out against B was issued by Mr Gough and included a bill demanding further money payable to ‘O J Gough’. The broadcaster referred to an email from Mr Gough to A, which stated, ‘I have no intention of ripping you off, I am charged with finishing this group [of medals] for you and that is what I will be doing’, thus acknowledging he was dealing with A’s medals.

[26]  In response to the further information provided by TVNZ, Mr Gough asserted, ‘my relationship with [X] was as a subcontractor [and] he was the principle, payments for [D, B, and A] were paid to his account, and I did the work that is to say research and mount the medals as required’. In regard to A, Mr Gough said he was ‘charged with doing the mounting of the medals and the research and I did’. Commenting on B, the complainant conceded, ‘I did send an account to [B], in the hope to get paid for my work, and stated I was placing a contractors lien on his goods until they were paid for although as the subcontractor I could not enforce this’. Mr Gough referred to the interview with X and the footage shown in the programme, stating, ‘clearly [X] accepts it was his bank account and the money was paid to him’.

[27]  We are satisfied that there was a sufficient basis for focusing on Mr Gough and for broadcasting the complaints against him. The facts, and specifically the combination of the customers’ complaints, documentation provided by Mr Gough, and the interview footage with X, all strongly suggest the complainant and X were business partners, part of which was a contract between Mr Gough and X, for Mr Gough to mount the interviewees’ medals. In particular, Mr Gough provided us with a police ‘jobsheet’, which contains the following statements:

  • ‘[X] traded with a company name “Chapman and Associates”, which was basically chappiemj; the associate was Owen Gough, and the company was not a registered company, it was just what they call (X and Gough) themselves.’
  • ‘The process was usually to buy the medals in Australia… Gough would mount them.’
  • ‘People would also send down their medals to be cleaned and/or mounted… Gough was the one who mounts the medals.’
  • ‘Signed over (let) a friend Owen Gough use the account… Gough then operated the account on a day-to-day basis, and had the main running of it from then on; X still checked in on the account from time to time, but Gough was then running it.’
  • ‘After Gough took over the Trade Me account, he made another estimated 900 sales, receiving maybe 35-40 negative feedbacks.’

[28]  In regards to D, the ‘jobsheet’ says, ‘[X] only has one ongoing dispute… with a guy called [D]… Gough was used to mount some medals…’ In addition, Mr Gough provided us with email correspondence between D and X, in which D says, ‘Only on one occasion did Eric tell me that there would be additional charges…’ As noted above, ‘Eric-O’ was one of Mr Gough’s trading names. The information in the ‘jobsheet’ and the emails is inconsistent with Mr Gough’s original claim that A, B and D dealt exclusively with X, and were not his clients. Further, he has now conceded that he was a ‘subcontractor’ to X and that he was involved in mounting the medals.

[29]  The interview footage of X broadcast in the 30 May item was also revealing. The reporter approached X at his house, and asked him, ‘Do you have dealings with Mr Gough… about medals?’ X responded, ‘We used to be business partners and I’ve since walked away from that business and it’s solely Mr Gough’s problem.’ The reporter asked him about money paid into his bank account and asked him, ‘Where have all the medals gone?’ X said, ‘I don’t know… well admittedly, my name was on the bank account, yes, but Mr Gough ran all of that, I was just a name for the business.’ We reject the suggestion (at paragraph [26] above) that X’s comments about money paid into his bank account absolved Mr Gough of any responsibility.

[30]  There was substantial information suggesting a business partnership between Mr Gough and X, and we are satisfied that Fair Go’s investigation into the nature of that relationship was thorough, and that in all the circumstances its focus on Mr Gough was fair and justified. We reject Mr Gough’s repeated contention that Fair Go ought to have focused solely on X.

Was Mr Gough provided with a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment?
[31]  The Authority has previously stated that in the application of the rules of fairness it is usually the case that somebody about whom something adverse is to be said should be given an opportunity to comment.5

[32]  Mr Gough argued that he was not given a fair opportunity to defend himself, saying the issues were first put to him on 20 May, three days before the first broadcast.

[33]  TVNZ said that Mr Gough was made aware of the nature of the allegations and was given many opportunities to respond, including an invitation to appear on the programme. It said Mr Gough’s email statements were referred to in both items (see paragraph [41] to [43] below), so viewers had the benefit of hearing his perspective including his denial of swapping original medals with fakes.

[34]  The reporter left several telephone messages for Mr Gough. Having not heard back from him, the reporter approached the complainant in the Ascot Park Hotel car park, and this footage was included in the programme. The reporter introduced himself and said, ‘I’d like to talk to you about a number of cases we’ve got about missing medals, replicas, medals being replaced with fakes’. Mr Gough walked away saying ‘No. Whatever’. The reporter continued, ‘Can you please talk to us… What’s happened to all the medals? Who gives you the right to take these people’s medals? These are their family heirlooms… We’ve had one verified as a fake. Where are the originals? …These are reasonable questions to ask.’

[35]  The 23 May item showed footage of the reporter on the street filmed outside Mr Gough’s house. As the complainant got out of his car, the reporter said, ‘Mr Gough, you didn’t give me time to give you my business card. Sir, these people want their medals. Why can’t you do the honourable thing? You talk of honour. Sir, do you want my business card? You talk of honour, why don’t you deliver honour, why don’t you do the honourable thing? Give them their medals back.’

[36]  In addition to these efforts to obtain comment from Mr Gough, the reporter sent Mr Gough an email on 21 May, two days before the first broadcast, giving details of the claims made by A, B, and C. The email concluded:

As you will appreciate, these are serious issues which are worthy of a response from yourself. I have left you and your accomplice, [X], my business card… We are interested in hearing your side of the story.

[37]  We think that these approaches were sufficient to inform Mr Gough of the intended broadcasts, and to provide him with ample opportunity to give his perspective for inclusion in the programme. Mr Gough was made aware of the issues, including the specifics of the complaints against him, and the programme’s understanding of his relationship with [X], and was therefore given a fair and reasonable chance to compile a meaningful response to each of the complaints.

 Was Mr Gough’s response presented fairly?
[38]  Mr Gough argued that his email statement was presented out of context and said it should have been displayed onscreen in full. He referred to guideline 6b (unfair editing), arguing that the item ‘misrepresented’ and ‘disregarded’ the truth.

[39]  TVNZ asserted that the ‘salient’ parts of Mr Gough’s email statements were summarised, and said it was not obliged to refer to his emails in their entirety.

[40]  The presenters summarised statements from Mr Gough and from X in both broadcasts. At the end of the 23 May item, one of the presenters said, with regard to a statement from X:

Things got a bit weird yesterday. We got this courier pack, containing this statement – it’s not from Mr Gough, but it is clearly in response to this story – it claims [A] and [B] owe money and are being taken to the Disputes Tribunal. No mention of [C]’s missing medal.

[41]  The other presenter stated:

Then Owen Gough emailed us. He says both [A] and [B] are clients of a third party and legal proceedings are under way. Mr Gough says [C]’s medals were originals when they left him. He says he filed a police complaint about that and a statutory declaration.

[42]  During the 30 May broadcast, the reporter said:

In response to last week’s programme, we received this statement from Owen Gough [holding statement up]. He denies swapping any medals for fakes. He also claims he can’t comment further because all three of our complainants are subject to legal action. Apparently a man by the name of [X] is taking them to the Disputes Tribunal.

[43]  At the end of the item, the presenters stated:

Presenter 1:   Remember [X] – that’s the man in the doorway – told [our reporter] this
                     was solely Owen Gough’s problem, but late yesterday we got this letter.

Presenter 2:   How thick are we, says [X]. He says he was dealing with [D]. He says it
                     is him who is taking legal action against our two other complainants.

Presenter 1:   So whose problem is it? [X] disputes [D]’s claims, he says [D] got all his
                     originals and actually owes him money

Presenter 2:   And he says our medals expert is not a master medals maker. This letter
                     [holding up letter] is also signed by Owen Gough.

[44]  We are satisfied that both items contained fair summaries of the complainant’s position as put in his statements, including his position that A and B were not his clients. The reference to X’s statements also advanced Mr Gough’s position including that D was not his client. We disagree with Mr Gough’s continued assertion that his position vis-à-vis A, B and D was not properly put in the story.

Other fairness arguments
[45]  Mr Gough argued that the story was ‘planned, designed, and manipulated to discredit and vilify’ him, alleging that C, D, the medals expert and debtors, conspired to take complaints to Fair Go and discredit him. Mr Gough provided us with email correspondence in which those individuals outlined their experiences with him and their intention to ‘expose [Mr Gough] to the New Zealand public’. 

[46]  The alleged actions of some of the interviewees, the medals expert, and people not involved in the Fair Go broadcasts, are not an issue of broadcasting standards. In any event, people are entitled to take complaints to Fair Go, a consumer advocacy programme. The emails demonstrate the individuals’ genuine concerns about Mr Gough, not that they were bringing false claims, as alleged. For example, one email stated, ‘The wider number of people that know about Owen Gough in Invercargill, the less likely the “next generation” is to be taken in, and the less likely he is to continue to rip people off.’

[47]  Mr Gough argued that the broadcasts presented an incorrect account of the facts. In particular, he referred to D’s comment in the 30 May item that the set of medals assessed by the expert was supposed to be genuine. He asserted that this was actually a mixture of genuine and replica medals, in accordance with D’s instructions. Mr Gough referred to the statement made by the medals expert that the replicas were only ‘worth a couple of hundred dollars’, which he said was inconsistent with claims made on the expert’s website.

[48]  As Mr Gough was provided with numerous opportunities to comment we are satisfied that he was given a fair and reasonable chance to put forward his position on D’s claims, and the claims made by the medals expert.

[49]  We are satisfied that these aspects of the items were not unfair.

Overall fairness
[50]  As noted above, the broadcasts carried a high level of public interest and had high freedom of expression value. Fair Go plays an important function in that it informs consumers of their rights and empowers them by providing a platform to air concerns and complaints. We are satisfied that, overall, Mr Gough was made sufficiently aware of the allegations against him, was provided with a fair and reasonable opportunity to comment, and had his perspective adequately included. We find that, overall, Mr Gough was treated fairly, and the alleged harm to his reputation did not outweigh the broadcaster’s (and the audience’s) right to freedom of expression and the story’s value. Accordingly, we decline to uphold the Standard 6 complaints.

Were the items inaccurate or misleading?

[51]  The accuracy standard (Standard 5) states that broadcasters should make reasonable efforts to ensure that news, current affairs and factual programming is accurate in relation to all material points of fact, and does not mislead. The objective of this standard is to protect audiences from receiving misinformation and thereby being misled.6

[52]  Mr Gough argued that the broadcasts were inaccurate and misleading for the reasons outlined at paragraph [19] above. TVNZ stood by the veracity of the claims made in the item.

[53]  The claims made by the interviewees and the medals expert were clearly framed as their personal experiences and opinions, rather than statements of fact, and were therefore exempt from standards of accuracy under guideline 5a, which provides that the standard does not apply to statements which are clearly distinguishable as comment and opinion. In any event, we consider that this aspect of the complaint has been adequately addressed in our assessment of fairness.

[54]  Accordingly, we decline to uphold the alleged breach of Standard 5.

Was Mr Gough’s privacy breached?

[55]  The privacy standard (Standard 3) states that broadcasters should maintain standards consistent with the privacy of the individual. The standard exists to protect individuals from undesired access to, and disclosure of, information about themselves and their affairs, in order to maintain their dignity, choice, mental wellbeing and reputation, and their ability to develop relationships, opinions and creativity away from the glare of publicity.

[56]  When we consider a privacy complaint, we must first determine whether the person whose privacy has allegedly been interfered with was identifiable in the broadcast. As noted above (see paragraphs [34] and [35]) the broadcasts contained footage of the reporter approaching Mr Gough in the Ascot Park Hotel car park, and the 23 May item showed footage of the exterior of Mr Gough’s house and driveway as the reporter stood on the footpath, calling to him for comment. Mr Gough was named in the items, was visible in the footage, and was identifiable.

[57]  Privacy principles 2 and 3 of the Authority’s Privacy Principles are most relevant to Mr Gough’s complaint. Principle 2 deals with the disclosure of public information which has become private again, for example through the passage of time. The programme revealed that the complainant was a former bankrupt and a convicted fraudster. Mr Gough argued that his bankruptcy in 2005 and fraud conviction in 1999 had, by the time of the Fair Go broadcasts, become private information. He said his fraud conviction was covered by the Criminal Records (Clean Slate) Act 2004, and argued that it was nevertheless irrelevant as it was for failing to disclose income. Similarly, he said his bankruptcy had nothing to do with medals, and that he adjudged himself bankrupt.

[58]  TVNZ said the story was in the public interest, and that at least one of the interviewees made their experience with Mr Gough public to protect others from having the same thing happen to them. It considered that his fraud conviction was entirely relevant to the story given the nature of the complaints against him, which alleged dishonesty. It noted that Mr Gough was currently awaiting trial on a number of theft and fraud charges.7

[59]  We agree with the broadcaster and are satisfied that the information revealed in the items was relevant to the story because Mr Gough’s fraud conviction indicated dishonesty, and his previous bankruptcy gave an indication of his financial history. Whether or not the information had become private, it was in the public interest to disclose as part of the investigation. Privacy principle 8 provides a defence to a breach of privacy where the information disclosed is in the public interest, which is defined as being of legitimate concern or interest to the public.

[60]  Principle 3 deals with intentional intrusions in the nature of prying with an individual’s interest in solitude or seclusion, though principle 3(b) provides an exemption where the filming occurs in a public place. 

[61]  Mr Gough argued that the Ascot Park Hotel car park was private property owned by the Invercargill Licensing Trust, and he said the filming occurred in an area that was not visible from the road. TVNZ argued that the car park was a public place accessible to people who wished to use the premises including the hotel facilities.

[62]  We accept the broadcaster’s argument that the footage taken in the car park and outside Mr Gough’s house on the footpath was filmed from public places. The exemption in 3(b) therefore applies. In any event, the footage revealed the efforts made by Fair Go to obtain comment from Mr Gough, and his refusal to engage with the programme, and so it was in the public interest.

[63]  We therefore decline to uphold the Standard 3 complaint.

 

For the above reasons the Authority declines to uphold the complaint.

Signed for and on behalf of the Authority

 

Peter Radich
Chair
1 April 2014

Appendix

The correspondence listed below was received and considered by the Authority when it determined these complaints:

Formal complaint about 23 May item

1                  Owen Gough’s formal complaint about 23 May item – 20 June 2012

2                 Mr Gough’s further comments on complaint – 30 June 2012

3                 TVNZ’s response to the complaint – 19 July 2012

4                 Mr Gough’s referral to the Authority – 16 August 2012

5                 TVNZ’s response to the Authority – 27 March 2013

6                 Mr Gough’s final comment – 5 September 2013

7                 TVNZ’s confirmation of no final comment – 19 September 2013

8                 TVNZ’s response to the Authority’s request for further information – 31 October 2013

9                 Mr Gough’s response to the further information, including attachments – 9 December 2013

10               Mr Gough’s response to provisional decision – 25 February 2014

11               TVNZ’s responses to provisional decision – 28 February 2014


Formal complaint about 30 May item

1                  Mr Gough’s formal complaint about 30 May item – 28 June 2012

2                 Mr Gough’s further comments on complaint (including attachments) – 3 July 2012

3                 TVNZ’s response to the complaint – 19 September 2012

4                 Mr Gough’s referral to the Authority – 17 October 2012

5                 TVNZ’s response to the Authority – 27 March 2013

6                 Mr Gough’s final comment – 5 September 2013

7                 TVNZ’s confirmation of no final comment – 19 September 2013

8                 TVNZ’s response to the Authority’s request for further information – 31 October 2013

9                 Mr Gough’s response to the further information, including attachments – 9 December 2013

10                Mr Gough’s response to provisional decision – 25 February 2014

11                TVNZ’s responses to provisional decision – 28 February 2014


1Which allows the Authority to decline to determine a complaint if in all the circumstances it should not be determined.

2The criminal charges against Mr Gough have been dismissed for want of prosecution, though as yet no final disposition of the matter has been reached on the merits of the case, see, New Zealand Police v Owen James Gough, DC CRI-2013-025-001202 per Judge J L Saunders

3See sections 5 and 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990

4Commerce Commission and TVWorks Ltd, Decision No. 2008-014

5See, for example, HC and CT and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2010-163

6Bush and Television New Zealand Ltd, Decision No. 2010-036

7See footnote 2 above in regards to the current status of charges brought against Mr Gough by the police